Raven-Symoné Refuses to Confirm Lesbian Rumors, Much To Our Collective Dismay

AZMarie & Raven

Earlier this week it was reported by The National Enquirer, World’s Least Reliable News Source, that actress/singer Raven-Symoné, currently starring in Sister Act on Broadway, is a lesbian currently in a relationship with AzMarie, this smokin’ hot androgynous model who recently appeared on the Tyra Banks Television Spectacular America’s Next Top Model. The story made the standard rounds and was brought to our attention about five billion times by various readers.

On Wednesday, Logo Online’s NewNowNext blog wrote:

Raven-Symoné has reportedly come out of the closet, this according to the website MediaTakeOut. They claim to have gotten the news from the National Enquirer (they NEVER publish anything misleading or false), who are claiming the actress is now officially out. Their report claims:

Sources close to Raven say she’s GAY and has shacked up with AzMarie Livingston, the androgynous beauty seen on “America’s Next Top Model.” The two are living together in Raven’s luxury $11,00-a-month [sic] New York City condo.. . .

She’s at a point now where she doesn’t care what her family thinks, and she’s in love with AzMarie. She’s a lesbian and wants to live that way.”

At Headquarters, we were undoubtedly titillated by this development, and not just because “That’s So Raven” is the best television show title of all time and offers endless opportunities for editorial riffs  — we were excited because Raven-Symoné is cool, her alleged girlfriend is hot, and it’d be sweet to have her on our team. Personally, when I was a little girl I wished upon a star quite often that Olivia from The Cosby Show would be my best friend forever. She was just so cute and so so so funny and I thought she was just the best. Just the best!

But, without any confirmation from Raven herself or news from any reputable sources, we had to keep that excitement in-house, which was devastating as we generally like discussing these sorts of things with the group. Editorial Assistant Bren had the following brilliant idea: “If Sarah Croce would just go ask her about sweet figs or something, then we’d know for sure.”

This isn’t the first time such rumors have made the news. In 2008, Raven responded to lesbian rumors with an all-caps denial:

ME DATING A GIRL: EVEN THO I ADORE MY GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY!!!!!! I HANG AND CHILL WITH THEM, AND ADMIRE THEIR FIERCE-NESS. AND LEARN FROM THEM EVERYDAY. I HAVE THIS TO SAY… 1) ITS FALSE THAT IM DATING A GIRL RIGHT NOW. 2)RUDE TO QUESTION SOMETHING SO PERSONAL. WE ARE ALWAYS FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHTS FOR THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY. ITS NOT A FAD FOR THEM, ITS NOT THE NEXT COOL BAG FOR THEM, ITS WHO THEY ARE, AND I THINK THAT FALSLY ACCUSING SOMEONE, WATERS DOWN THE IMPORTANCE OF ACTUALLY SAYING YES TO GAY WEDLOCK, AND OTHER RIGHTS FOR THAT MOST AMAZING COMMUNITY.

Her response to this round of rumors was a bit more subdued, and suggestive:

Honestly, I’m having a hard time figuring out what to say about all this — but I do want to know what you think! I like Raven-Symoné a lot and it’d be really cool for media representation if she came out — she’s talented, smokin’ hot, super-successful, and a woman of color. Furthermore, Raven-Symoné is undoubtedly an LGBT ally — she even posed for a No H8 shoot, and recently performed at a Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS event.

Ultimately, I think most people agree that nobody is obligated to come out, even celebrities who stand to make a huge impact by doing so, and “outing” is only acceptable in the case of, say, a political figure who is actively pursuing anti-gay legislation while riding the homosexual pony in his off-hours.  Raven is definitely not that, and the only person who knows what’s best for Raven is, ultimately, Raven.

But damn. I really wanted to be able to title this article “That’s So Gayven,” you know?


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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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117 Comments

  1. yeah the tweet seems to be confirmation to me. while i agree in principle that no one is obligated to come out for the good of the community as it were, i wish it was less of a big deal. it’d be nice if for once when lesbo rumours abound the celebrity could just say “yeah i am…and?”

  2. Ha That’s So Gayven would have been hilarious.

    As much as I want this to be true (because I love Raven),I do think it’s just a bunch of gossip. If she is in a relationship with Azmarie, she is definitely not obligated to tell anyone. I think the problem with most people and celebs is that we sometimes feel like we should know every little detail about their personal lives which is simply not the case.

  3. So she’s gay, right? That’s what it means when someone says, “It’s none of your business,” right? Not that, you know, it is actually none of my business who she’s dating/loving since I don’t know her and she owes me nothing. Denial always means gay, so…She’s gay. Cool.

  4. I love love Raven-Symone. This girl always carries herself well when interviewed, is very supportive of the gay community, and she recently managed the impossible by being a sane voice of reason as a guest host on the View. This 25 yr old woman made Sherri and Bitsy look incredibly immature by comparison. I wish this woman all the best in the world so if she really is gay then welcome to the family but she should be allowed to come out on her own terms.

    And for what it’s worth, as a gay POC, I think it’s maybe a little harder for us to come out to our friends and family. Add being a celeb to that and it’s even harder. Queen Latifah has still yet to come out. I get the pressure they are under.

    P.S. Yes , That’s So Raven is the best tv ever. Definitely the best Disney sitcom of all time. I wish they still aired reruns.

    • Yes. This was right around the time of Mean Girls. They had met during a Vanity Fair photoshoot and became friends. This is the same shoot that really ignited the Lohan/Duff fued. They stopped being roommates before Lindsey really went through her troubled phase. I don’t know if they are still in contact or not.

  5. That’s So Raven is one of the funniest shows that came out of the Disney Channel. We used to watch it in college.

    She’s gone off, on my gaydar before.

    But, also, it would be sooo awesome if she was gay!!! She’s been such a positive role model all her life. This would just take it even further. She’d be a great role model for gay folks everywhere.

    A lot of times Disney stars come off obnoxious, but she’s a Disney star that always came off confident and humble and down to earth while being insanely successful at the same time. I think she was producer on her own show which is pretty awesome.

    Needless to say, I’m a huge fan and would be thrilled if it turned out she was a part of the LGBTQ community. Prior to this, I didn’t know she was so supportive of us. Her tweets make it sound like she’s gay. But, yep, it’s totally her business.

  6. Laughing because when will gay celebrities learn that the more of a fuss you make of it, the more likely it is to be true.

    See : Dianna Gaygron and her giant effing Tumblr essay about *I’m not a lesbian but if I were…!* yeah okay, the lady doth protest too much.

    Just…Raven baby gurl, nobody cares if you’re gay and everyone loves you, so come on out of the closet and get yo ass to the big gay welcome party. We have cookies. And CAKE! (sidenote : gay brownies also available).

    • wait… I’m curious, why do you think Dianna Agron is gay? she does not ping my gaydar, like at all, even after the “likes girls” t-shirt incident and her tumblr essay… (I mean, it made sense to me)

      • Oh my God, you must not follow her at all to not see her gay. I could give you an essay on how Dianna is the Gayest Gay to Ever Gay, including: her deflecting laughter whenever men are mentioned in interviews, the way she eye-fucks female interviewers, and her never denying a relationship with Lea Michele. Other noteworthy mentions include: her use of gender-neutral pronouns when referring to hypothetical romantic partners, her very obvious PRomance with another suspected-gay actor, and her beautiful essay where she only ruled out the fact that she doesn’t identify as a “lesbian” which really doesn’t mean anything, especially when her agents have constantly reined her actions in (see: the unfolding debacle following her wearing the Likes Girls shirt).

        • well, I occasionally follow news on the Glee actresses, but I never saw things that way. Naya Rivera doesn’t use specific pronouns in interviews either. honestly I think it’s a calculated move on their (PR) part to keep fans guessing/intrigued.

          I also assumed Dianna was straight because her attitude towards these rumors have always been so nonchalant. like I recall her in an interview earlier this year, dismissing the “relationship” with Lea Michele, it was on the lines of “the fans are convinced we’re dating because of all these pictures of us hugging… it’s funny, but flattering.” or something.

          • Fun fact : she has never actually denied her relationship with Lea. She’s dismissed the questions and has given really *really* vague answers but she’s never denied it. Not once.

            Prime example of Dianna Gaygron in full swing – http://katpissnevernude.tumblr.com/post/19874285498/touristseason-msanimanga-subtle-gron-brb – she practically devours the interview woman with her eyes, hot damn.

            Also, new favourite phrase of the fandom is “Dianna Agron is single and NEVER DATES ANYONE” because really, pretty much the only time she has spoken about a guy in a romantic way was Christopher Walken and the last time she spoke about someone in a romantic was about Taylor Swift.

            (Sorry, I just have a lot of feelings omg).

          • Thank you, that was the interview I was referring to for the major eye-fucking. It makes me giggle every time because REALLY HOW CAN DIANNA BE STRAIGHT WITH THAT INTERACTION??

          • Wait, wasn’t she dating Alex Pettyfer for a while, her co-star in that I Am Number Four movie that nobody saw?

            He’s pretty feminine-looking though so that doesn’t help the rumors. (Also, not that attractive but maybe that’s just me.)

            I’ve also heard rumors that she’s dated Tim Tebow but I’m pretty sure those are complete BS (why would a holier-than-thou fundamentalist Christian like Tebow date a Jewish girl, and vice versa?) and probably just come out of the fact that she appears to be friends with Taylor Swift, Tebow’s actual gf/ex-gf/I’m not sure because I don’t keep up with these things enough.

          • The Alex Pettyfer thing was a total PRomance. They’re relationship lasted like a few months and very conveniently ended at the same time the press tour did…

            Tebow tried his luck haha, but nothing happened between them, she says they only spoke briefly I think???

            Also Tebow totally pings for me – have you guys seen that interview where he’s rocking some serious gay hand gestures?

          • Also, immediately after the movie was released, Dianna denied being in a relationship with him, so she can’t even adhere to regular PRomance code.

            Oh, Di.

          • Tim Tebow is so obviously gay gay gay but is probably always going to keep playing the “looking for a nice Christian girl who wants to settle down” card because not only is there the whole professional football player thing, he’s also the homeschool poster boy and everybody in that world would turn on him in an instant. The going on a date with Taylor Swift thing only convinces me of that even more because John Mayer aside, she seems to have established herself as a professional beard.

          • Can I just say: Who can blame D.A. for eye-fucking that reporter? She’s REALLY HOT.

            Also I’ve always gotten a massive gay ping from her. They never let Quinn smile on Glee (I’ll understand why – every time she smiles a baby lesbian gets her wings/toaster and rainbows shoot out of the sky and all seems right with the world) but if you see Dianna in her own element it is like gay-de-gay-gay-gay joy.

          • Funny story: My best friend and I used to act like Lea and Dianna in public, and whenever people asked if we were dating, we’d just laugh it off and say “No, we’re just really close friends, guh, why do people keep asking if we’re dating??”

            How do Lea and Dianna respond to the rumours: “We find it hilarious! We just laugh about it! I mean, it’s so funny! Why can’t you just hug your friends?”

            Guess what.

            Now I’m dating my “best friend”.

            Just saying.

          • Sobbing omg.

            I’m sorry but Lea is not straight either, like, that’s an actual thing, with actual basic confirmation omg.

            AE asked her about her sexuality or something like that and her actual reply was “Baby, I’m from New York. That’s all I gotta say about that. Before I say something my publicist gets upset about! [Laughs]” wow okay Lea heterosexual Michele. If you are completely straight then that horrible TV show you’re on is inoffensive and well-written.

          • Lea heterosexual Michele is more a move of Fox wanting to keep their Glee actors straight (hell, they wanted to keep the lid on Colfer when the show came out). Anyone who knew of Lea in her NY days knows that girl was never really “in”

          • And agreed. Naya is such a flirt, though I don’t think she gives an eff about your gender, really.

  7. I watched ‘Revenge of the Bridesmaids’ last night on Netflix Instant Watch in honor of this. Well not really, I was already watching it before my girlfriend told me about this kerfuffle. But I was reminded of Raven’s boobs and I would like them on our team. A girl can dream.

    • I always feel conflicted between the “none of my business” camp and feeling that celebrities coming out is really important for progress on a lot of levels. Hollywood is kind of America’s “false idol,” this big fake thing people listen to for beliefs and perspective on the pulse of society, whether or not it’s being portrayed with any truth other than that of the white dudes controlling almost every impression of culture. It’s important for the people attached to the fake things to see the real part- the people, esp the aspects that don’t get included in our cultural facade. The U.S. is really uneducated about our country’s media and its universal presence in our lives just makes people uneducated and miseducated about our world.
      I just think its sad if someone in the position of being able to represent a glimmer of their relevant reality to ignorant masses, unrepresented groups and disheartened kids chooses not to… but it’s not like I can really understand the factors in their lives either.

  8. Ran into Raven on the beach in Maui a few years ago vacationing with my family. She was super nice and took a picture with my little sisters. My one famous person interaction. In person she tottaly pinged my gaydar.

  9. Let’s all just be honest for a second. Sure. Having Raven be gay would be awesome for queer women of color. No denying that shit.

    But deep down inside we just want her to be gay…so we know that there is a chance, even if that is microscopic, we still have a chance at dating her.

    Right?

  10. I heard the rumor and my mine went to totally inappropriate (sexy) places.

    That aside, no one should be outed. I don’t care who you are, you have the right to come out when you’re ready to come out.

    I’m going to go back to my totally inappropriate (sexy) mind place now…..

  11. Sigh, I always loved Raven so, if she’s gay, then so be it. if she doesn’t ever want to confirm or deny it, then she is entitled to, I guess. But I think it sort of speaks volumes she didn’t deny it when she had the opportunity.

  12. Perhaps she simply does not like the media putting labels on her.
    Even if she is dating AzMarie, do we know that AxMarie identifies as a woman?
    Identity in general, including sexual orientation, is a highly personal and complex concept; it’s up to each individual to decide for themselves how they identify. For us or anyone to publically asign labels to an individual is always a problem! And they’re refusal to accept said labels should not be seen as denial or confirmation… simply refusal to accept someone else’s label.

    • Samesies. Someone mentioned Galecki above: he never went on the defensive about how his sexuality is private and blah blah blah; he just ignored the questions. Raven is not ignoring the question. She’s just avoiding a definitive answer.

  13. i would love it if raven came out, mostly because i’d be cheering her on for bagging the incredibly hot azmarie, it is her personal business who she is dating. i mean, if i was straight, i’d go gay for azmarie, she’s that fucking hot. anyway, i love the fact that raven is so supportive of the gay community, and thinks that speculation over a person’s sexuality trivializes the lives of lgbt people. no matter what her sexual orientation is, she’s got her head on straight and her heart in the right place.

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